Firearms already allowed in county parks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 08:22
Firearms are allowed in Wood County parks, although not in the district's main office on Mercer Road or the ranger's headquarters at W.W. Knight Nature Preserve in Perrysburg.
Those buildings are exempt from state law, under which buildings with a law-enforcement presence can restrict gun possession, said park district Director Neil Munger.
Otherwise, "there's no way around the law," he said.
Allowing visitors to carry weapons has never created problems in the parks, Munger said. Any change to district policies would first be debated by the board of park commissioners, he added.
"The fact that we've never had an issue with it, I don't know if it's a big deal for us," Munger said, noting that hunting is permitted in some county parks.
Weapons are additionally used by the district's five park rangers, who as registered peace officers carry handguns and keep shotguns in their vehicles, Munger said.
County commissioners faced a similar question on firearms during their town hall meeting prior to Bowling Green City Council on Monday.
Michelle Grigore, the city's parks and recreation director, asked commissioners during the town hall meeting whether the commissioners had a position on gun use in county parks while correctly surmising that the parks are overseen by a separate board of park commissioners.
"I know you're very closely aligned with Wood County Park District," Grigore said.
Jim Carter, president of the board of county commissioners, explained that the board's role is different than city council in that it does not pass ordinances of its own but administers Ohio Revised Code.
"We can't make laws like you folks can," Carter said in reference to city council. "Those are tough issues.
"I don't know how this world has gotten to the point where (people) think they have to carry a gun everywhere they go, but it's happening," Carter continued. "That's going to be in somebody else's hands I think, right now anyway. County government doesn't have the facility to do much about that."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 June 2014 09:23

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